If you’re worried about what other people think of you, consider this

I used to think that I would one day reach an age when I would no longer take things too personally. I assumed that it would just all of a sudden happen and the sense of relief would wash over me like the perfect pop song. As each birthday passed and a day of personal reckoning never came I got real with myself and finally acknowledged that having the ability to not take everything personally requires actual work — there is no magic, at least not in this case. The reality is that I do take things personally and it has nothing to do with being a writer or having a bleeding heart. It is — for lack of a better term — personal.

I have yet to master the ability to mask my emotions towards everything that comes my way. I’m working on it and haven’t set a deadline because well, life is hard. I’ve found it easier to first acknowledge what happens when you are someone who takes everything so personaTlly and allowing the following things to all sink in has been the perfect first step in ridding myself of unnecessary crying over — everything.

You’re missing out on the awesome little moments happening all around you

When you live in a world where everything said to you filters through negative courses of your mind you almost immediately lose the ability to enjoy the little things in life. Your vision of happiness becomes blurry and the bad stuff creeps in like a storm without warning. The roadblocks of your mind don’t allow any rays of sunshine to come through and you end up missing out on the little stuff because you are too busy worrying about the big stuff. Or worse, the stuff that really doesn’t matter.

Most likely, nobody has any idea what you’re insecure about

If you can’t get past your own emotions you are going to struggle with the ability to take in the opportunities around you. Maybe you will skip that girls’ weekend because you are too concerned with what one of your friends said to you last year. The reality is that your friend probably doesn’t remember what she said and she very likely didn’t mean it the way you took it. People easily forget moments that you probably think everyone is still talking about. People are usually kind and well-meaning, but they’ve got their own concerns to worry about. And thank god for that. So all that anxiety you’re feeling about something that may or may not have happened is probably not even on anyone else’s radar.

Paranoia is the worst, but it’s not real

Taking something personally is right up there with worrying and worrying creates paranoia which breaks you down bit by bit. When you spend all your time analyzing someone’s opinion you unknowingly allow many other unsaid things to eat at your core. Time that could be spent building yourself up is instead focused on what might happen in the future. Your brain is working overtime, but you are not gaining anything out of the experience.

Just because someone has an opinion, it doesn’t mean they’re right

Everyone has an opinion. Just because they have one they feel is imperative to your well-being doesn’t mean they are right and it certainly doesn’t mean it is appropriate. As human beings we have to learn how to translate the useful from the useless and the noise from the knowledge. It’s hard to know which is which and how to navigate. In most cases you have to decide those realms based on your own personal preference. Without this step you will begin to keep all your good feels locked inside because you simply cannot bear the thought of someone criticizing your life.

Life is full of unsolicited advice from people you love and people you don’t know at all. That doesn’t mean that you have to listen to everything you hear or take it all personally. If you’re going to take anything to heart, it should be your own opinions.

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